EPA looks at wastewater from fracking

Oct. 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to regulate water from hydraulic fracturing and other natural gas production from shale.

Wastewater discharged by companies producing natural gas from shale formations, including chemically laced water used in the controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, would be regulated under the EPA initiative, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The EPA announcement comes amid growing concern over the effect shale gas operations are having on local drinking water sources.

Companies often release water from the operations into municipal wastewater systems that lack the technology to completely remove the chemicals, salt and minerals before sending it into streams and other surface water, said Ben Grumbles, president of the Clean Water America Alliance.

Environmental groups said they welcomed the EPA announcement.

"The nation is in the midst of a fracking-fueled gas rush which is generating toxic wastewater faster than treatment plants can handle it," environmental law group Earthjustice said in a statement.

"The EPA's proposal is a common-sense solution for this growing public health problem and will help keep poisons out of our rivers, streams and drinking water."

The EPA said it would propose final rules for wastewater from shale gas production in 2014.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Sex causes immune response to increase chance of pregnancy
Ancient rocks reveal earliest instance of photosynthesis
Smoking cessation drug effective for women faster than men
Gene therapy effective against form of inherited vision loss
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr